By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Monday thanked the Italian police who maintain law and order in and around the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, and during his visits in Rome and Italy, saying their work is “a precious collaboration in the pastoral ministry of the Bishop of Rome.”
“The Pope and his collaborators know they can count on your cooperation during the pastoral visits to the parishes and civil and ecclesial institutions of Rome, as well as on the occasion of pastoral visits to Italy,” Pope Francis told officials, staff and police of what is known as the Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican.
Participation in Church’s mission
The Pope thanked them for their careful and efficient surveillance, which, he said, helps pilgrims coming from all parts of the world to visit the tomb of St. Peter and live this important experience of faith peacefully.
He reminded them that their contact with events of considerable religious and cultural importance, and with priests, religious and laity who collaborate in the universal mission of the Successor of Peter, certainly offers their work further reasons for commitment and dedication. This special condition of their duty, he said, permits them to reinforce their professional dedication by drawing from the perennial truth of the Gospel. This way, they witness to the human and spiritual values of Christianity and help contribute also to the mission of the Church.
Dialogue, culture, faith
The Pope noted that not just Christians but also representatives of various religions, heads of state and important ecclesial and civil authorities come to meet the Pontiff and his collaborators. The work of the Inspectorate for Public Security, he said, ensures that these encounters of dialogue and witness to culture and faith in the Vatican are carried out in a climate of serenity and order.
The Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican was established in 1929 with the Lateran Pacts, to ensure security and law enforcement in St. Peter's Square and the entrance area of the Vatican Museums. The Inspectorate also provides for the Pope's security when he leaves Vatican City.